October 3, 2010

Harlequin - Category Romance

When my current W.i.P. first draft is finished, it will about that time when I need to get my third novel, All or Nothing, ready to submit. It's Romantic Suspense (67,000 words) and I think I just may change up my act for this book. Currently, my second novel is out for submission. I have a list of about 50 agents and it takes a very long time to get through it, researching, submitting, etc., etc. So, my thought with All or Nothing was to submit to Harlequin's line Silhouette Suspense and to RWA's Golden Heart.

Here are some guidelines, according to Harlequin:
Silhouette Romantic Suspense
Sparked by Danger; Fueled by Passion.
Length: 55,000–60,000 words

Silhouette Romantic Suspense books offer an escape read where true-to-life heroines find themselves in the throes of extraordinary circumstances...and in the arms of powerful heroes.

The hero should be a force to contend with. He may be harsh and direct, but never cruel. Though formidable and heroic, he is capable of being saved, and it is up to the heroine to get him there. Our heroines should be complex, strong and smart. As independent as the heroine may be, she is often in jeopardy and needs the hero's help to overcome obstacles.

The conflicts should be dramatic and compelling. Romantic Suspense books revolve around classic plotlines that are tried and true in category romance: revenge, women in jeopardy, espionage, law enforcement and military, reunion romances, secret babies and others. Romantic Suspense stories will be consistently high on sensuality, as well as romantic and sexual tension.
What do you think? Do you have opinions on category romance? What are the pros and cons? Do I have any takers to critique my query and synopsis? And lastly, are there any of you out there that have submitted to the Golden Heart? Tell me about it!


  1. If you're querying for an agent, I would hold off on submitting to Harlequin. It wouldn't be right, say in 3 months when you sign with one and then say, "Oh by the way I have a category on submission to Harlequin" that's like undercutting the agent (even though you didn't have one at the time you submitted). They want to be the ones who get you contracts.

    Category is fine if you can write it. You need to be able to bang three or four books out a year, two at least, for name recognition (forget about the money).

    I think Roni at Fiction Groupie did the Golden Heart. You might check out her sidebar. I know she's one a few contests from RWA. Just recently too but I dont' know which one.

    You never asked me to look at your query or synops but I will if you want.

  2. I'm not really understanding of the romance world and all it's different genres to fit into. I write YA and some adult but those adult or horror/thrillers so I would be way out of my league giving advice!

    I love a good romance novel, chick lit is more my style! I haven't read a ton of romance novels, too steamy and I'm out, I'm more of a prude than I ever thought I was... guess we all learn things!

    I wish you the best of luck with your query and synopsis! I would certainly take a look at it!


Leave some chocolate while you're at it.